Somewhere in a grungy little warehouse, those counterfeit T-shirts are being disgorged from a press. The slogan will be tacky and obviously unauthorized, but the shirt will sell well enough when they show up in the camper lot at Ft. Worth, Texas, or Avondale, Ariz. Might as well get a head start, because
Johnson, whose average finish in the Chase for the Championship is 3.4 (he's finished as far back as ninth once), needs only to average a finish of tenth in the final three races to secure the championship. And that's if
But Johnson contends he's no "shoo-in." Maybe because he knows full well there are still a myriad of whirling variables than can undo a title run that appears within grasp. Maybe he fears these 10 the most.
At 184 points behind Johnson, he likely needs one huge biblical slate-evening from a career of rotten luck and title-chase heartbreak to surpass his Hendrick Motorsports teammate. This would not be subtle stuff. We're talking frogs from the sky getting Johnson loose in Turn 4 at Texas, cautions from sandstorms in Phoenix, a burning Busch at Homestead.
"Four championships in a row ... would that give me peace? Would that change the substance of a man? What do I have to show for all this?"
Fame, fortune, history, and a reality show on HBO.
No, this one might not pan out.